Isobel

Started by Frogg, March 08, 2018, 11:23:39 PM

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Frogg

This is a very personal poem but I'm very open to feedback as to me it just isn't flowing correctly.

A light, a tiny spark,
grown from the blackest dark.
A vile act turned into a blossom
and I held you within me,
beneath my ribcage
and between my bruised thighs.
You return to me now my love,
and the pain it cuts through me like the blades
I so often use to forget you.

So much blood
and a tiny form on the ground,
you fit so messily into the palm of my hand.
The agony of birthing such a small life,
a life that was barely even here,
but I named you there on that cold floor
and I wept for the loss of you.
Amidst all the blood and the pain,
you became my Isobel.
'And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.'
- Anaïs Nin

indar9

you fit so messily into the palm of my hand.
The agony of birth
a life that was barely even here,

I am reluctant to discuss a poem with such a sensitive subject but I will make this one suggestion: Try starting the poem with the above lines, address the lost baby by name and direct the narrators remarks to her throughout. I don't know what you reference when discussing the blades used to forget. Should the reader know and I'm dense? 

Mark Hoffmann

Hi Frogg

I think you have written a very powerful poem.

For me, the poem starts on L4 and is pretty good from thereon.

You have gone for quite a wordy style, and there's nothing wrong with that, provided that is a deliberate choice. There is though, some potential to lose words and this can have the effect of strengthening the imagery. I'll give an example:

ORIGINAL:
You return to me now my love,
and the pain it cuts through me like the blades
I so often use to forget you.

EDITED:
You return to me now my love,
and the pain cuts
like the blades I use to forget you.

As I said, there's nothing wrong with your version, but I wanted to show how it is possible to lose words, but not lose the ideas being expressed.

You could apply this technique to the entire poem and get a denser read. It will though change the style.

Regards the opening 3 lines which I think are the weaker part of the piece:

The end-stop rhyme feels out of place in a poem without a rhyme scheme. And, for some reason, I can't justify "blackest dark" grates.

Vile is an abstraction and I'm sure does not convey what you have in mind. If you want the reader to connect/relate at some level use concrete imagery - though can see how this is a potential issue.

Mark
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Gyppo

#3
Frogg,

As Mark says this is powerful stuff.

I quite like Indar's idea of starting in a different place and addressing the words directly to Isobel throughout.

I think blackest dark would read better as darkest black.  It just feels the wrong way around.  Darkest black is a cliche, true, but it's one of those accepted cliches, like the darkest hour being before the dawn, and presenting it back to front doesn't improve the flow or enhance the meaning.

There are hints of an even deeper pain here, a betrayal of trust perhaps.

No-one should have to lose a child.  It is, perhaps, one of the most difficult experiences to write about.

=====

Some of the more prolific poets on here have wandered off to an offshoot of their own.  I'll find the link for you before the day is out.

Found it already.  The Tangled Branch –

http://www.tangledbranch.com/boards/index.php

Gyppo

biolaephesus

hmmm, brings me memories too hidden for the light
Thanks for sharing
biola

Frogg

Thanks for your feedback everyone. It was a difficult poem to post but I knew with help from you folks I could tidy it up a bit and get the flow working.

indar9, I think that's a really good idea actually. Start from there and make references throughout. Thanks. The blades I use to forget you is a reference to my history of self harm, you're not dense at all  :)

Mark, your suggestions are all fantastic. Blackest dark was actually one of the things that was bugging me about the poem. I think as Gyppo said Darkest black would flow much better. Thank you so much for taking the time to give me such in depth critique. I'm going to work on losing some words like you showed in your example and post a new version in the next couple of days.

Thanks Gyppo, going to have to have a look at the poem you've dug out for me.



Means a lot folks. Thank you.

'And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.'
- Anaïs Nin

ST

#6
Quote from: Frogg on March 08, 2018, 11:23:39 PM
This is a very personal poem but I'm very open to feedback as to me it just isn't flowing correctly.

A light, a tiny spark,
grown from the blackest dark.  ((   grown from that vile darkness ))
A vile act turned into a blossom (( into a beautiful blossom  )) 
and I held you within me,
beneath my ribcage
and between my bruised thighs.
You return to me now my love,
and the pain it cuts through me like the blades
I so often use to forget you.
   ( I believe the mention of forgetting should be the last line )

So much blood
and a tiny form on the ground,
you fit so messily into the palm of my hand.
The agony of birthing such a small life,
a life that was barely even here,
but I named you there on that cold floor
and I wept for the loss of you.
Amidst all the blood and the pain,
you became my Isobel.

I had almost forgotten   ( that memory lost holds more impact at the end, when the pain is known )

Thank you for sharing.  Personal loss is never easy to express, due to what we are afraid to let out.